Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

May 19, 2010 11:15 ET

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: BC Housing Market Outlook

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 19, 2010) - Housing starts are forecast to increase in 2010 and 2011, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC's) Housing Market Outlook Report published today. The forecast is for total housing starts1 in British Columbia to reach 22,900 units this year and 25,700 units next year.

"New home starts, existing home sales and prices will be a reflection of evolving supply and demand conditions in 2010," said Carol Frketich, CMHC's Regional Economist for British Columbia. In CMHC's latest forecast Frketich sees a more balanced market based on "a pick up in the economy, higher employment and population growth that, together, will boost housing demand. Builders will respond by increasing new home construction." A rebound in both single-detached and multi-family housing starts will bring the level of residential construction closer to, but still below, the ten-year average of 27,300 units.

Given recorded home price gains to date, Frketich is forecasting a rise in existing home prices this year and next but at a modest pace, reflecting more balanced supply and demand conditions. Demand brought forward in anticipation of rising mortgage rates in the second half of 2010 will likely dissipate and moderate the level of existing home sales. At the same time, recovery in existing home prices will lead to an increase in the supply of homes for sale. Resale market conditions will be balanced as the sales-to-new listings ratio stabilizes.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making vital decisions. For more information, visit www.cmhc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642.

1 The forecasts included in the Housing Market Outlook are based on information available as of April 23, 2010. Where applicable, forecast ranges are also presented in order to reflect economic uncertainty. British Columbia total housing starts will be in the range of 21,000 to 25,000 units in 2010 and 21,300 to 30,100 units in 2011.

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